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my son and those are in the cantelon era where all the black folks were in default like particular during the election of 1970i had been carried to every black church in the black belt and i watched my father give this speech over and over and over again. those deprecate advocation are like the people that want the crops without plumbing at the ground and that is for the line comes from. frederick douglass, the title, the agitators daughter, frederick douglass was my father's hero. he was always quoting him. but when he was on the campaign trail in the black belt,
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speaking to these sharecroppers trying to give them a reason to register to vote and go to the poll she would always invoked him and say don't sit around waiting for other people to do right to buy u.s. frederick douglass said it is nothing without a demand. go forth and demand your power at the ballot box. >> would you teachers at georgetown in a? >> i.t. jay legal history course by many cases of the supreme court and i teach constitutional and administrative law and sometimes property, sometimes local government law. >> when you approached the affairs or said the manuscript to a publisher, was the answer back from public affairs and why were they interested in the story? >> well, fortunately i already
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had a relationship from my first book about the book that's title to the integration why we still study to be in emigrated society. so i had a relationship with them and i sent a proposal to them i think they knew i was a fairly tenacious person, and they also found the story compelling. so thank you, public affairs. >> just a short conversation with george on professor sheryll cashin about her second book, "the agitators' daughter a memoir of four generations of an extraordinary african american family." by the way, booktv covered the professor earlier on this book and it's about one hour in
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length. you can go to and type in her name and you can watch the entire hour. thanks for being with us. >> sarah gordon talks about religious cases in history that have transformed the law of the country and dominated protection in the constitution. this interview part of the college series recorded at the university of pennsylvania. it's about 20 units. >> university professor sarah gordon, the spirit of the law is her most recent book. what do you mean when you talk
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about the old constitutional role and the new constitutional world when it comes to religion? >> for most of the nation's history with the states rather than the federal government that controlled access to the religious worship and organizations and so on. in the early decades that began to shift as the supreme court applied then national constitutional the establishment and centralizing debate about religion. >> but if the states had the control we had written to the constitution, freedom of religion. >> we did indeed the first amendment began congress shall enact no loss it was only to the national government. >> were there restrictions on different states? >> several states had religious
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establishments and most limited the amount of property a religious organization could owned, tax religious property, others ban given group's practices. i'm thinking for example we eventually and various states. >> when it came to massachusetts, talk about them as a case study of the state's regulating religion. it is starkly unconstitutional but in the last case was brought, the west criminal prosecution was actually brought in the early 1970's by accident against someone that had a sign in his window that says unwanted
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carpenter speaks this person and jesus wixom one it was plain the american civil liberties union got involved pretty quickly and the prosecution was dropped. more recently a film company owner tried to name his company i choose howell productions and was denied in a corporation under the state's incorporation law because was a blasphemous title and that was dismissed. >> why did it start to change in the early 20th century? >> i think for several different reasons. one especially the growth of the federal government in the new deal era of the other was the
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embrace of migration and pluralism, emigration began to seize a little bit after the restrictive immigration act of the 20th century and then the new deal forced so many people on to the move. looking for work in the government and the expansion of the government power highlighted the friction between eight better government and the lives of believers so there was a lot more attention. >> yufang bourn that the salvation and the army of the wall. what is changing the religious law in america? >> of the salvation army which many people don't realize is an evangelical group not just a group that rings bells outside of department stores and in the
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christmas season. the salvation army believed in the cathedral and would go into areas especially impoverished and have parades' and make lots of noise with brass bands and symbols and while preaching to attract the urban poor and to religious life. the requirements of many cities in the parade would be permitted for example and they made a practice not for permits but arrested for playing their instruments and of sell and challenging. the kind of destabilize locker by challenging the restrictions and they never needed to the supreme court of the united
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states because they were still in power. >> when was the first major religious case before the supreme court? >> cases from the territory had come through especially utah questions of polygamy but from the state's the major cases made it 1930's and early 1940's, the new deal era they tend not to be the salvation army but the jehovah's witness that caused a lot of the problems. as an accord was one of the cases walk us through. >> an interesting case cantwell versus conn involved a group of witnesses that have gone into a catholic neighborhood in new haven on a sunday morning and began playing anticatholic records on a portable phonograph
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and distributing literature and they were arrested for disturbing the peace and preaching without a permit and appealed -- that first amendment in the exercise clause in the state of connecticut and as they saw fit. >> did that lead to the
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movement's? >> it what is. the movements changed and challenged law requiring school children to salute the flag every morning to see the pledge of allegiance when they got to the supreme court and in 1940 they lost in a big case and they got a lot of attention. after that violence broke out against witnesses all across the country in three years later the supreme court changed its mind and said you know, we may be interested in patriotism and the unity but not by beating of schoolchildren. >> to date are school children because most classes began with the pledge of allegiance if the child wants to sit during that, can a child? >> indeed they are protected in their right not to have to say
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the pledge of allegiance, yes. >> the spirit of lal, who are the and why they occupy a good portion of your book? >> they are less well-known than they should be. they actually were involved in the very important religious movements from the 1960's through the very late 1990's they were part of a resurgent evangelical culture and like so many others that migrated to california set up institutions and became deeply involved in politics. beverly, who is a particular interest of mine in the book founded a group called concerned women for america which claims to be the largest political organization in the united states and she based her
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organization on the five spiritual principles, the bible, family patriotism, the sanctity of marriage and of life, and she began to litigate arguing that religious parents should have more controls for example over with their children were taught in school, arguing that the equal rights amendment was a violation and the fundamental of these cases. >> did you interview her for your book? >> i actually did not. she lives in seclusion and a retired about almost 15 years ago now and is in california again. >> somebody would have liked to talk to? >> i would very much like to talk to her, and one of the things that is important is an organization like hers, which was so involved, so foundational
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to the conservative women's political activism the papers are not deposited anywhere, they are not available to be read. others like phyllis schlafly on a much smaller organization talks to everybody. really somebody like beverley in the concerned women for america is substantially more attention and for prosperity somewhat the scholars can learn from them. >> sarah gordon is a professor all and history here at the university of pennsylvania. this is the most recent book spirit of all religious voices in the constitution in modern america harvard university press. she's also the author of the mormon question coming and you have referred to polygamy a couple of times in our short discussion here. was that an issue about the
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mormons that got under people's skin? >> it was the most prominent. if there were others and if you say questions of access to public places for religious speech in life as a whimper key to that 20th century the big question is would mormons be allowed to redefine marriage for themselves and control the legal system enough so that polygamy would be recognized and protected as a valid form of marriage.
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>> one of the key issues for the more minute apologists as well as their opponents it became pretty clear early on in american history that the states have substantial control within their borders they were fought out in the marriage equality debate today, and utah pushed again and again and was denied again and again in large part because of the question of polygamy. the federal government had much more control over the territorial governments than it did or does over state governments. so yes, there is a big issue about how much control states have over marriage. was that foundational? at the time the debate was about
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keeping it out of the state would and unless we see a transformative supreme court of the payments which may happen coming especially from the california cases it is still within the state control. >> you have a fourth book called the place of faith. when did you get interested in the subject of the religion? >> redican deeply interested when it applied to graduate school. for family reasons my husband wanted to relocate to connecticut i wound up in law school rather than in seminary for the joint decree would be at
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yale. thanks to the availability of the interdisciplinary training and can actually combine the interest and from 1980 to working in this field i find myself still fascinated and dedicated to thinking deeply about the relationship of the religion. >> where is this picture from this year and of the law? >> this is outside of the united states supreme court and was taken on the day that the challenge to the pledge of allegiance of the requirement but the insertion of the words under got into the pledge of allegiance. it's part of the cold war
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pushback against the communist atheism and this is the bishop of a small denomination. they are praying for the protection of public acknowledgment of god outside of the supreme court on the day that the case was argued and behind her you can see the guards standing and looking far less dramatic than she does. i don't know if you can see that she is reading this and it's a very dynamic picture. i was thrilled to see it on the cover. >> some of the cases we hear about today include nativity scenes, the ten commandments. is there a national standar
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order of things and winning many

Book TV
CSPAN February 11, 2013 1:10am-1:30am EST

Sarah Gordon Education. (2012) Book TV at the University of Pennsylvania Sarah Gordon, 'The Spirit of the Law Religious Voices and the Constitution in Modern America.'

TOPIC FREQUENCY Frederick Douglass 3, California 3, Sarah Gordon 3, Pennsylvania 2, Georgetown 1, Massachusetts 1, Lal 1, Beverley 1, The Nation 1, Jehovah 1, The Bible 1, Beverly 1, Howell 1, Jesus Wixom 1, Cantwell 1, Conn 1, Phyllis Schlafly 1, Sheryll Cashin 1
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